Louisville is a city full of history, tracing our roots to the earliest settlers in the late 1700s. Most traveled down the Ohio River to settle here, but others made their way from the east. The first settlers in Louisville were primarily French and English, and later German, Irish and Italian. With these cultural influences came styles of popular architecture that traveled with them on their journeys.
Some of the original homes in Louisville were “stations,” which was a blend of a fort and a settlement. Other homes here were built anew, fueled by new fortunes made right here in Louisville, an area ripe for business development. Some of the homes were farms, built on beautiful bluegrass acreage.
These homes and structures were obviously built to last. Today, Louisville alone has over 13,000 properties that are on the National Register of Historic Places, which is one of the most renowned rankings in the nation. You’ll see these properties all over Louisville, and in many cases, it is a historic home located in the middle of a modern subdivision.
Kentucky Select Properties is uniquely qualified to sell historic homes and homes of architectural significance in Louisville. They have numerous agents that list these notable homes, all of whom have extensive knowledge and appreciation of their history.
These homes are like Locust Grove or Farmington, where you would pay to experience their grandeur. These homes are some of the best of the best in Louisville. These are the homes that you stop and take a second look. These are the homes that you would love to see inside and know their stories. These are the elegant and staid homes, established on pristine land by the original settlers of Louisville. These are homes with names like Spring Station, Elmcroft, Sunnyside and Edgewood.
Currently, there are eleven of these homes on the market. To live here would make you a part of Louisville’s history. Let’s see all the masterpieces for sale right now in the Louisville area.
3244 Trinity Road, Louisville, KY 40206
Originally a station on Beargrass Creek, this home was constructed by Norborne Booth Beall. The Filson Historical Society’s contributing historian John David Myles wrote “Spring Station is perhaps the earliest surviving home in Jefferson County built with architectural aspirations.” This means that instead of a quick clapboard house or cabin, Beall intended this house to be grand, modeling it after architecture he knew in his native Virginia, such as Monticello. It sits on a beautiful secluded property of almost five acres adjacent to Seneca Park, with the modern homes of Beals Branch (street named after him) all around it. In the 1920s, a sunroom and bathrooms were added to modernize the property. The interior boasts 13-foot ceilings on the first floor and beautiful Palladian windows; while the grounds feature a tennis court, a guest home and a swimming pool.
3020 Poppy Way, Louisville, KY 40206
Built in the heart of Cherokee Gardens, this stunning home on Poppy Way has survived in pristine condition, due in large part to its owners. There have only been five owners of this home since 1854. This home, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is on a private, one-acre lot in the middle of the city. Inside are 12- to 14-foot ceilings with windows that travel the length of that space. Outside, the grounds are meticulously manicured, with a pond and beautiful trees. There’s a fully furnished apartment above the garage with a kitchen, sitting room and bathroom for guests.
6706 Elmcroft Circle, Louisville, KY 40241
According to Filson Historical Society’s contributing historian John David Myles, this was a secluded “home on the hilltop” built off Highway 42 by the Allison family. Originally a “three-bay two-story clapboard house, which is two rooms deep with a central hall and interior chimneys,” this simple home went through a major “metamorphosis” in the 1980s, adding a master suite, garages and a sunken garden in addition to many more improvements. Eventually, this large property was sold and divided up, becoming Elmcroft neighborhood, whose last most famous resident was Muhammad Ali.
3605 Glenview Avenue, Glenview, KY 40025
This is a familiar house to many Louisvillians as it was formerly the residence of the Bellarmine University president up until recently. The last president to live here was the late Dr. Jay McGowan. This Italianate mansion has Colonial Revival additions with its three floors and sprawling grounds in Glenview. This home has seven bedrooms and eight bathrooms for guests, which makes it a perfect house for entertaining. Built in 1850 up on a bluff overlooking the Ohio River in the east end of Louisville, this was a summer home for people that lived closer to downtown; they considered this living “out in the country.”
1401 Stone Lane, Goshen, KY 40026
This Federalist-style home was built in 1815 as part of a larger farm in Goshen. This property was last used as a horse-breeding farm, and the current owners doubled the size of the home back in 2001. The first floor still has the original hardwood floors and fireplaces, one of which is pictured below in the kitchen. The home also still has its original smokehouse. This home has been well-maintained and is a perfect family home, with four bedrooms and four bathrooms and a modernized interior.
4469 Castle Highway, Pleasureville, KY 40057
East of Louisville sits a beautiful property, dating back to 1845, called Forest Hill. Built by steamboat captain Hawkins Middleton, the house was modeled in the “Steamboat Gothic” style after a famous Mississippi home named Beauvoir. Middleton actually had special cypress and yellow poplar wood shipped in from New Orleans to build his home. At one time, this home stood on 2,000 acres and had numerous outbuildings and another small house on the property. A famous Louisvillian society woman, Sally Ward Lawrence Hunt Armstrong Downs, who was married many times to many successful men, lived here for a spell — her portrait hangs in the Speed Art Museum.
1375 South Fourth St., Louisville, KY 40208
This majestic Neo-Classical brick house is located in the heart of Old Louisville on Fourth Street, overlooking Central Park. Built by an attorney in 1894, it has all the elements of fancy Victorian design. This house is a stop on the Old Louisville Walking Tour for many reasons. According to oldlouisville.com, details such as a “whimsical, mustachioed face resting on a swag and topped by affronted scrolls bearing a torch” are on the exterior of the building, and “Inside, there is a grand oak staircase and parquet floors edged in differing ribbon patterns.” This home has been completely modernized inside, and the grounds boast a beautiful private courtyard.
3980 Hooper Station Road, Shelbyville, KY 40065
This was the grand house of a 2,000-acre hemp plantation built in 1860 by the Sleadd Family. The family originally lived in a log cabin on the property before using those logs to start construction of this Greek Revival home. The Sleadd Family owned this property for over 100 years, and most of the materials used in this home were made on site, such as the brick used all over the home. This home has beautiful side porches to view the bluegrass vistas of the property.
715 Alta Vista Road, Louisville, KY 40206
This home was built for Louis Seelbach, a German immigrant who went on to found the Seelbach Hotel with his brother Otto. This home was built on Alta Vista Road in 1914 by famous local architects William Dodd and Kenneth McDonald. In addition to the grand home with 15 total rooms, including six bedrooms and five bathrooms, there is a carriage house with room for four cars and a full apartment above it. This house was built in the Beaux-Arts style, similar to the Seelbach Hotel, which emphasizes ornamentation and grandeur.
4508 River Road, Glenview, KY 40025
Built: late 1840s
This beautiful property overlooks the Ohio River in Glenview, Kentucky, and was once a part of the Locust Grove Plantation. Built in the 1840s, this house was eventually bought by the Hilliard family of Louisville, who founded the venerated financial institution Hilliard Lyons. The house stayed in the Hilliard family from 1915 to 2001. The current owners did a major renovation on this house, with the help of local historian Sam Thomas, who ensured the integrity of the property remained intact. The views from this house are amazing, looking at the Ohio River, the gardens or the surrounding bluegrass landscape. There are two guest houses, a separate garage and a “vintage chicken coop.” You will be surprised, surrounded by all this quiet nature, that you are just five minutes from downtown Louisville.
7811 Wolf Pen Branch Road, Prospect, KY 40059
The clues to this historical property, built in 1858 on 66 acres along Wolf Pen Branch Road, start with the chimney in the original part of the house. According to The Filson Historical Society’s contributing historian John David Myles, this certain chimney “and something attached to it had been there for a while” by the time the house was recorded in 1858. Now this house sits on five acres and is a perfect combination of old and new, with beautiful Greek Revival design and wooden exterior, with an interior that is a mix of modern design with antiques. The Dutch Colonial horse barn in the back is now a loft studio that looks like a period piece with its gambrel roof. The details inside the house emphasize its quality materials with Heart-of-Pine flooring and forged iron hardware on the doors.
All of these historic homes are listed by Kentucky Select Properties, located at 2000 Warrington Way, Suite 140, Louisville, KY 40222. To learn more, call (502) 271-5000 or visit kyselectproperties.com.
This article is sponsored by Kentucky Select Properties.